Amy Leung: Governor General's Silver Medal

May 26, 2005, vol. 33, no. 3
By Christopher Guly

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Earning top marks and the highest praise from a faculty member is a rare achievement for any student, but Amy Leung has attained both.

The 23-year-old, Hong Kong-born SFU student graduated with a 4.28 cumulative grade point average out of a possible 4.33 -- an academic record that won her this year's Governor General's silver medal in science.

“She is, quite frankly, the most outstanding undergraduate student that I have encountered,” according to Nancy Hawkins, an assistant professor in the department of molecular biology and biochemistry who supervised a research project Leung undertook during the independent study semester of her undergraduate honours degree program.

Hawkins says that in less than four months, the amount of work Leung accomplished “was remarkable and was on par with an experienced graduate student,” and “her intellectual understanding of her project far surpassed” any other independent study student she has supervised.

Leung's academic excellence also led to her receiving a Canada graduate scholarship, presented by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She's now pursuing a master's degree in developmental genetics, which also happens to be Hawkins' specialty.

“I wanted to work with her again because of the way she relates to people,” explains Leung, who moved from Fredericton to Vancouver in 1999 after she graduated from Fredericton high school, where she received the Governor General's bronze medal.

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